The Sunday Poem: Rich Boucher... Whatever You Decide To Do I Will Support You

This morning's poem is quintessential Rich Boucher:  smart, ironic, imaginative, kind…and yet filled with some sort of comedic horror.

Rich is featured this Wednesday, Jan. 16th, at the MAS Poetry Slam and Open Mic event at Winning Coffee Co., 111 Harvard SE.  It starts at 7:00.  Sign-up at 6:30.  See you there.

Whatever You Decide To Do I Will Support You

She is screaming at everyone on the street;
this woman is giving the crows behind her teeth
their freedom with her wailing.
She’s Jim’s wife, and Jim is about to die.
The paramedics shuffle and worker ant
their way around and over the couple.
The morning light is harsh blue sun on everything;
one car looks like it’s been thrown
into the front window of a small laundromat
by a giant and frustrated child.
Jim is on the stretcher, an oxygen expression on his face
and he is coming in and out of waking,
beeping in and out of living
and she is crying
and screaming
Jim, don’t leave me like this
Jim, our kids
and suddenly
I recognize that this is my moment
I have something to do right here and now
and so I walk through the police tape,
brushing the people out of my path like tall corn;
I am an angel in plainclothes
when I lean down over Jim
down over him
with a scroll in one hand
and a dagger cut from a brick
that was pulled from a street in Heaven in the other
and I tell him
go ahead, Jim
you can go now
there’s nothing here for you;
this world is full of hate
so go, Jim, go to the light
and she begins to yell at me,
demanding to know who I think I am
and asking me what gives me the right
and then just like that Jim goes;
I squint my eyes and see his cellophane soul
jellyfishing out of his chest
and up into the blinding top of the sky;
she lunges at me
bashing me hard on my chest
I hate you, she says,
and I look up towards Jim;

he’s still ascending, heading for the bright clouds
and I say see, Jim?
I told you; there’s nothing but hate here;
you’re lucky to be alive.

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

Views: 198

Comment by Margaret Randall on January 13, 2013 at 8:07am

Rich, this is fabulous. All the special touches I have come to expect from you and more. You are the greatest! Barbara and I will be there tonight for sure.

Comment by Don McIver on January 13, 2013 at 8:45am

"cellophane soul/ jellyfishing out of his chest..." wonderful description.

Nice work.

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 13, 2013 at 12:56pm

Margaret - thank you so much for your words! I am so glad to see this poem up here, and I'm looking forward to seeing you and Barbara on Wednesday night!

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 13, 2013 at 12:56pm

Don - thank you for that. I was hoping that image would work for what I was picturing in my head. 

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 13, 2013 at 1:00pm

Aaron - what can I say? I am very moved and happy to see what you wrote. The part about my having grown I found especially encouraging. It means so much to me. And yes, I think that Jim's wife yelled "I hate you" at the speaker of the poem, perhaps because she knew it was too late to direction her emotions to Jim. I think that's a good, solid call.

Thank you so much, Aaron. Straight up, no chaser. :-)

Comment by Zachary Kluckman on January 13, 2013 at 3:35pm

Comment by Zachary Kluckman on January 13, 2013 at 3:35pm

Oh this is a devious, devilish little poem :) One of your best I would have to say.

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 13, 2013 at 7:45pm

Thank you very much, Zach!

Comment by Dee Cohen on January 14, 2013 at 8:18am

Very moving. Thanks Rich! Dee

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 14, 2013 at 3:18pm

You're very welcome, Dee! Thank you so much!


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